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Six Things Blog

December 03,2019

The False Dichotomy That Holds Us Back

Our chief innovation officer, Guy Fraker, told me the other day of being in an innovation strategy meeting where the CFO of a workers comp carrier talked of needing to "protect our losses."

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November 26,2019

How Climate Change Distorts Risk Prediction

Back in the days when Johnny Carson was host of "The Tonight Show," he joked about what he saw as the four seasons in southern California: earthquake, wildfire, rain and mudslide. Now that the first big rain of the season is set to hit California over the next few days, I found myself thinking...

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November 19,2019

10 Tips That Your Innovation Program Is Failing

The saying in journalism is that there are no new stories, just new reporters. It seems the same is true of mistakes in innovation programs: There are no new errors, just new companies making them.

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November 12,2019

When Innovation Efforts Go Wrong

While I generally emphasize the need to innovate, it's worth stepping back from time to time and realizing that every project is a bet, and that not every bet pays off, no matter who you are. 

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November 05,2019

The Necessary Tension Between Old and New Tech

Last week's news that the U.S. military was retiring a 50-year-old system of 8-inch floppy disks that helped control the nuclear arsenal reminded me of my own brush with outdated technology that could have led to Armageddon. 

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October 29,2019

Get Ready for Some Magic

Clarke's Third Law, posited by science fiction legend Arthur C. Clarke, says that "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Well, we're going to see some magic, courtesy of the technology that led Google to claim "quantum supremacy" last week, and we should start...

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October 22,2019

An Agent, Underwriter and Adjuster Walk Into a Bar...

After witnessing the Cal football team's disheartening loss to Oregon State on Saturday, I spent an hour having a beer (okay, two) at Pappy's in the heart of Berkeley, decompressing... and thinking about what the busy sports bar had to say about insurance.

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October 15,2019

An Answer for California's Power Shutdowns

The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize last week to Ethiopia's prime minister brought back the memory of a time I interviewed Isaias Afwerki, one of the key factors in this year's prize. It was 1991, and Afwerki had just emerged from the bush in Eritrea. He led a guerrilla movement that, after 30...

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October 08,2019

Not Giving Up on Healthcare

When I wrote two weeks ago about the possibility of combining workers comp with health insurance to produce a sort of let's-just-keep-people-healthy approach, many of you wrote to tell me that I'm nuts. (You were as kind as possible; thanks for that.)

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October 01,2019

A Report From the Front Lines of Innovation

The best description of last week's InsureTech Connect extravaganza in Las Vegas may have come from an acquaintance who said, "ITC began three years ago as Craiglist, became Tinder and is now something like LinkedIn."

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